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Spicy Chicken Briyani...

Here's an easy briyani recipe that I learnt from my mom in law, I like this kind of briyani where the rice gets cooked along with the chicken. There are the other varieties where the chicken is cooked separately and boiled rice is then mixed with it in alternating layers. Since I don't really like plain white rice, I find that briyani bland... this one here is exciting, spicy and dangerously good. Briyani is preferably made with Basmati rice (long grained rice), you can use ordinary rice too... it will taste just as good. The only difference lies in the amount of water you add for both the rice varieties. The pictures posted here were taken when I made briyani with both basmati and ordinary rice, so don't get surprised if the pressure cooker changes colour from picture to picture. I picked out the best pictures... let's get started right away...

First wash and soak the rice in water for an hour or so and please measure the quantity of rice you take. (Make sure you do not heap rice onto the cup, just fill it till the brim).

Gettin to work on the masala section now...
Heat oil in a pressure cooker, if you like whole spices in your rice then drop in some cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves (I do not like bitting into a clove so I usually add only bay leaves and cinnamon sticks), add the chopped or sliced onions (5 to 6 medium sized onions should do for 2 cups of rice) and a whole lot of ginger and garlic paste. And fry it around till the onion turns translucent.

Now add some slit green chillies (bout 5 to 6 chillies for 2 cups of rice) and give it a nice mix.
Then drop in some chopped tomatoes (3 or 4) and mix it up well...
Here you see how the tomatoes have been mashed into all the onion and ginger garlic paste really well.

Now you add the chicken pieces and mix it well...

Then drop in some chillie powder, corinader powder and garam masala powder... give it  a nice mix. (I usually add  1 to 2 heaped teaspoons of all these powders)
Add freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves... I like this step cause of the coriander and mint smell. Use a whole bunch of both.
Give it a another good mix... this is how the masala looks. Make sure its not watery, when you start adding the chicken make sure its on high flame and then add the masala powders and the green leaves and give it a good mix. 
Now if you are using basmati rice add double the quantity of water for each cup of rice, meaning in the ratio 2:1 . What I usually do is reduce half a cup cause when the chicken cooks it will anyway give off some of its water content, so in case I use 2 cups of basmati rice I usually add 3 1/2 cups of water. When using ordinary rice I always add half a cup more since the ordinary rice is fat & takes time to cook. So if I use the ordinary 2 cups of rice I use 4 1/2 cups of water. (On a side note, if for some reason you find that the masala is in fact a little watery, use your intuition and reduce the cups of water accordingly. This has happened many a times to me when I suddenly get a phonecall or I get distracted and the chicken starts cooking in the masala and gives off water. Then approximately deduce how much water you can deduct while cooking the rice... I hope I haven't confused you too much here)
Drain the rice that you have soaked earlier and drop it into the pressure cooker when the water starts boiling...
Add a few drops of lime, appropriate quantity of salt and a dollop of ghee... now put the lid on and attach the weight. The flame has to be on high... and after a few minutes, you will hear the first whistle. As soon as you hear it reduce the flame to its lowest level and wait for approximately 3 to 4 minutes if its basmati rice. Then switch of the stove and leave the cooker alone till all the steam escapes on its own accord.

When its safe to open the cooker, you'll see that your briyani is ready and it will smell great. Now store it in ordinary dishes, try not to use those insulated vessels that keep the food warm... your rice may tend to clump together. 
Garnish with chopped cashew nuts and currants... I especially love adding currants here, cause I tend to make spicy briyani's and when you bite a sweet currant in the middle of all that spiciness it tastes real good. 
This is the finished product, using ordinary rice. Now when you pressure cook ordinary rice, leave it on high flame till you hear the first whistle. Then immediately reduce the flame and wait for 7 to 10 minutes before switching off the stove. Remember when its basmati, we wait bout 4 minutes before switching off.

Garnish the same way. Ta da...spicy briyani is now ready, be ready to handle all the appreciation that will come your way when the folks at home taste this briyani.

Okay one more thing, I never got this right the first time or the second time... its all bout the timing. Sometimes you miscalculate and the rice gets overcooked and sometimes it gets a little browned at the bottom. What I have written here bout the timings (these 4 or 7 minutes) is all based on a trial and error method. I've made this briyani many times till I've perfected the timing... and now it comes out really well, you start getting the feel of when it's done. So go ahead, make this and enjoy some fine food... 

Comments

cool! almost like my recipe
i am making biryani again tonight after seeing this
Karen Xavier said…
:) briyani is close to your heart I see, no sarcasm on this post.
sowmi said…
amazing !!! what i am most thrilled about is the scrupulous description with pictures - frame by frame ...
bellvino said…
gona do this today :)
bellvino said…
gona do this today :)
Julie said…
Going to try this this weekend...

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